Fareed Zakaria on how Biden and Trump see the world

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Fareed Zakaria is the host of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria GPS, a columnist for the Washington Post, and one of the most astute foreign policy thinkers of our time. So much of this conversation is focused on just that: How Biden and Trump respectively see the world and want to shape it. In particular, the ways Biden’s foreign policy differs from Obama’s and has changed over the years, whether Trump has a coherent foreign policy at all, and why the most important US foreign policy question is “What is an acceptable level of influence for China to have?”

But I also wanted to talk to Zakaria about some broader trends — trends he’s been tracking for some time. Zakaria’s 2003 book The Future of Freedom anticipated the rise of illiberal democracies across the globe long before anyone paid it much attention. His 2008 book The Post-American World described the multipolar international order that, in many ways, we now inhabit. And just recently he authoredTen Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World which forecasts how Covid-19 will change the trajectory of our world.

So in this conversation we also discuss the state of journalism, the dangers of great power war in the 21st century, why Zakaria believes rise of China is far less of a threat than either Republicans or Democrats seem to believe, why a global spike of economic inequality in an already unequal world is perhaps the most important pandemic trend, whether Zakaria has lost faith in America, whether anything short of violent catastrophe can upend concentrations of wealth, how the world’s views of China and America are changing, and much more.

References:

"The definitive case for ending the filibuster" by Ezra Klein

The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century by Walter Scheidel

Book recommendations:

Cultural Evolution by Ronald F. Inglehart

American Politics: The Promise of Disharmony by Samuel P. Huntington

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

Credits:

Producer - Jeff Geld

Audio engineer - Jackson Bierfeldt

Researcher - Roge Karma

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